A convict in an Aurangabad prison who had been held in solitary confinement for more than two years has been moved to a regular cell after the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad Bench ordered a judicial and medical inquiry into the offender’s mental health. The division bench of Justices VK Jadhav and Sandipkumar More ordered the prison authorities to immediately move him to a regular cell. The convict was dealing with a plea offered by his wife Rubeena Shaikh. Convict’s petition was filed through counsel Rupesh Jaiswal. The petition stated that as per the Maharashtra Prison Act, the maximum duration a prisoner can be held in solitary confinement is 14 days but in the present case, the convict has overstayed his term which has deeply affected his mental state as a result. He has forgotten how to communicate with fellow human beings.
Shocked to see the petition, the court ordered the Dean of the district’s Government Medical College and Hospital to form a team to visit the jail, which should include a psychiatrist, a physician, and any other expert members. The offender must be examined, the area of the Anda cell must be inspected, and a report on the health conditions must be submitted, the Court ordered the Prison staff to immediately move the offender from solitary confinement to any other cell and file a report to the Judicial Registrar. The Bench set the matter for further review of the reports on January 31, 2022, after serving notice on the respondents, who included the Secretary of the State Home Department, the IGP, and the Superintendent.